|The Letter of the Madonna to the people of Messina in Chinese by the Jesuit Metello Saccano : an unknown seventeenth-century manuscript [article]|
|The Letter of the Madonna to the people of Messina in Chinese by the Jesuit Metello Saccano : an
unknown seventeenth-century manuscript / Agostino Giuliano, Maurizio Scarpari.|
In: Journal of Jesuit Studies 5 (2018) 631-641.
© Agostino Giuliano and Maurizio Scarpari, 2018 | doi:10.1163/22141332-00504008
Includes bibliographical references.
The depository of the Regional Museum of Messina preserves a small, frail canvas
bearing two inscriptions. The first, particularly fragmented, is in Italian in four lines,
while the second is in Chinese characters in fourteen columns. The museum documentation
provides no information regarding the manuscript’s significance, author,
origin, and period. This article shows that the manuscript is a Chinese version of the
legendary Letter of the Madonna, the letter of protection that Mary is said to have
delivered to a delegation from Messina that accompanied Paul the Apostle to Jerusalem.
Furthermore, the article identifies the manuscript’s author and the date of
composition: the Sicilian Jesuit Metello Saccano (1612–62), a missionary in China and
Cochin China from 1644 until his death. Intent on spreading the cult of the Madonna
of the Letter, in the early 1660s, he sent this elegant Chinese version of the letter to
(1593–1674), his spiritual director and the rector of the Jesuit novitiate
Local access: [Letter of the Madonna Chinese Saccano.pdf]
Available online via Gleeson Library (USF community).